Local mom dumps kids’ brand new toys

Pillow Pets, Flashlight Friends blamed for family’s sleepless nights

WATERFORD, Va. – Frustrated after weeks of broken sleep, a local mother took action on Saturday morning, filling her husband’s pickup truck with several bags of toys, some of which had been purchased only weeks earlier as Christmas gifts for her children.

“I’ve just had it,” said Sonja Terry, a waitress and mother of two from Waterford, as she dropped off at Goodwill 17 bags of Barbie dolls, My Little Ponies, and brand new stuffed animals equipped with built-in flashlights and projectors.

“It had gotten to the point where you couldn’t move in their rooms. And the sleeping … it’s never been great, but ever since they got those stupid Pillow Pets, nobody in our household has had any peace. Usually they turn the things on at 5:30 in the morning, but last night they were up running around at 2:30, playing with these frogs and unicorns that shine lights out of their butts.”

When contacted by email, Terry’s husband Rob, a truck driver, said he’d tried to talk Sonja out of taking the children’s brand new toys to Goodwill, but that Sonja seemed to feel it was a last-ditch effort to save her own sanity.

“I mean, our parents spent a lot of money on those toys, and the kids love them,” Rob Terry wrote via email. “But she’s there by herself most nights and I can’t blame her for being tired. Those kids never sleep.”

Terry’s mother, June Ferguson of Westfield, was less sympathetic to her daughter’s plight.

“Sonja’s dad left when she was 5. I didn’t have a man to pay my bills,” Ferguson said in a telephone interview. “Sonja’s very lucky that her children are healthy and she has a good job at the diner. She makes more in tips than I ever made working as a secretary for the gas company. She doesn’t know what real problems are.”

Although Terry said she felt victorious after purging her home of toys and driving her husband’s truck, which has a standard transmission, across town to the Goodwill store, she was dreading a trip to the grocery store with both children.

“It’s going to snow this week,” Terry said, her voice cracking. “Can you please tell me how I’m supposed to get through Walmart on a Saturday before a snowstorm with these two?”


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